No, I didn’t mean to type “penguin.” Though a penguin-shaped palanquin would be SWEET. What we’re talking about today is the palanquin, a sort of person-drawn carriage that is commonly used in Indian weddings. Merriam-Webster defines it as such: “a conveyance formerly used especially in eastern Asia usually for one person that consists of an enclosed litter borne on the shoulders of men by means of poles.”

Sometimes called a “palki,” a palanquin is usually a decorative box about the size of a stove that the bride hops into for wedding transportation. An Indian bride will often be carried in a palanquin by her brothers or male cousins. This likely arises from the tradition of brides traveling to their husbands’ villages after a wedding, but in modern times it’s just a good excuse to look super cool as you enter or exit your wedding.


Brides will sometimes enter in a palanquin, or leave in one, or both. Let’s be practical here, though: If you’re not the size of a professional female gymnast, consider whether your brother(s) and/or male cousin(s) are really interested in toting you around in a big wooden box, or if they’re able to. But if you can pull it off, it looks A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.